ISRAEL: Netanyahu Gives Up On Forming Government

Haaretz reports:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced to President Reuven Rivlin that he is returning the mandate to form a governing coalition. In a Facebook video posted Monday, Netanyahu said “Ever since receiving the mandate [to form a government] I have worked relentlessly … to establish a broad national unity government. This is what the people wants.”

But he argued his efforts to “bring [Benny] Gantz to the negotiation table … and prevent another election” have failed, saying Kahol Lavan leader “refused time after time.” President Rivlin said in a statement he intends to tap Gantz, who would have 28 days to form a coalition. He is expected to formally announce his decision within 72 hours, by Thursday evening.